Civic News & Info
Harkin Opposes Proposal that Would Allow USPS to More Easily Close Rural Post Offices PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Tuesday, 03 May 2011 12:59
WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 3, 2011 - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today wrote to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe in opposition to a proposed regulation that would give the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) the right to convert post offices into stations or branches of larger post offices at their discretion.  Once converted, the USPS would then be able to close rural post offices without any consultation with local citizens or concern about the impact on a rural economy.  As Harkin points out in the letter, it appears that the proposed regulations are designed specifically to circumvent current laws to ensure local voices are heard.  Currently in Iowa, many post offices are facing potential closures that would disrupt service.

“Conveniently located post offices and a reliable postal delivery system are essential to keeping communities connected and businesses strong – particularly in rural areas of the country,” said Harkin.  “Allowing the USPS to close post offices without listening to local concerns could interrupt reliable service to residents and hurt local businesses, all without consulting those it would most directly impact.  While I strongly believe that we must push for a more cost effective and efficient postal system, this proposed regulation is simply misguided and I urge the Postmaster General to change his course on this issue.”

A copy of the letter can be found here.

Additionally, Harkin yesterday joined with Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Representative Steve King (R-IA) in writing to the USPS to ask that the Postal Service make public the details of the Area Mail Processing (AMP) Study that is being used by the Postal Service to weigh the move of Sioux City's mail processing operations to Sioux Falls.  A copy of that letter can be found here.

 
Governor Quinn Statement on Federal Court Decision PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Andrew Mason   
Monday, 02 May 2011 11:26

MARION, IL – April 29, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today released a statement in response to the recent federal court decision regarding the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ ability to avert crisis in southern Illinois.

“I thank the court for making the right decision in allowing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to take the steps it deems necessary to ensure public safety during this crisis. We must now continue to work together to protect the lives of everyone affected by this severe flooding. My hope is that this decision will be upheld as it proceeds through the judicial process.”

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Grassley supports Branstad’s request for federal disaster assistance PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 02 May 2011 09:33

WASHINGTON – April 28, 2011 - Senator Chuck Grassley has asked the President to grant the request made by Governor Terry Branstad for a declaration of a major disaster in response to the tornadoes, high winds, heavy rain, large hail and thunderstorms that swept through Buena Vista, Cherokee, Ida, Monona, Pocahontas and Sac counties on April 9 and 10.

In a letter of request sent today to President Barack Obama, Grassley said, “The Governor determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments to handle effectively and federal assistance is needed.”

Grassley visited Mapleton and Early two weeks ago to see the tornado damage and talk with local residents about the recovery effort.

Here is the text of Grassley’s letter to the President:

April 28, 2011

The Honorable Barack Obama

President of the United States of America

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

I respectfully ask that you grant the request made by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad for a declaration of a major disaster for the State of Iowa as a result of a severe weather system that produced tornadoes, high winds, heavy rain, large hail, and thunderstorms on April 9-10, 2011.  The storms moved into Iowa and severely impacted Buena Vista, Cherokee, Ida, Monona, Pocahontas, and Sac Counties.

The Governor determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments to handle effectively and federal assistance is needed.

Thank you for your prompt consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Grassley

United States Senator

 
Governor Quinn Announces Increased Bicycle Safety Reporting PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Andrew Mason   
Monday, 25 April 2011 12:26

New Tracking of “Dooring” Crashes Will Identify Problem Areas

CHICAGO – April 25, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn announced today that the state will begin tracking “dooring” crashes – accidents involving bicyclists who are struck by opened doors from parked cars. The change will take effect immediately to help determine locations where road improvements and public outreach efforts may be necessary to protect bicyclists from these dangerous collisions.

“As more people are riding bicycles and embracing other green modes of transportation, we need to ensure that Illinois collects data that presents a complete picture of what is happening on our roads,” said Governor Quinn. “This new initiative will address a major safety issue for bicyclists and drivers, and will make our roads safer for everyone.”

The new policy is the result of collaboration between Governor Quinn, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Active Transportation Alliance. Prior to the change in policy, dooring collisions went unrecognized in IDOT’s annual reporting of traffic statistics because a moving motor vehicle was not involved.

The data collected and analyzed by IDOT can be used to plan for improved roadway designs and additional communication with motorists in areas with high concentrations of bicyclists.

“We appreciate Governor Quinn’s action on this issue,” said Ron Burke, executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance, an advocacy organization that works to improve conditions for walking, biking and transit. “Data on dooring problem spots will help communities take steps to reduce these collisions. We are grateful IDOT will track these crashes, and look forward to working with them to increase safety and education surrounding dooring.”

To assist police in submitting the correct information, IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety is reaching out to law enforcement agencies across the state with instructions on how to begin recording dooring crashes. Police departments that have already have begun tracking dooring collisions, including Chicago, will have their data included in the state’s traffic statistics, retroactive to May 2010.

“We are committed to working with our partners in law enforcement to make roads safer for bicyclists,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig said. “Safety always will be a top priority at IDOT. The recognition of dooring accidents is another step in the right direction.”

 

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VANDER VEER CONSERVATORY UNVEILS NEW FEATURES FOR SPRING / SUMMER 2011 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Ron Summers   
Tuesday, 19 April 2011 10:24

Davenport Parks and Recreation has announced two new features at Vander Veer Botanical Park for the 2011 Spring/Summer season.

School aged children visiting Vander Veer Botanical Park Conservatory can enjoy an interactive hunt and find fun sheet for spring. Counting bunnies, carrots, eggs and baskets throughout the display will bring a sweet reward when they drop off their completed sheet to The Park Store.

The observational beehive has returned to Vander Veer Botanical Park and can be seen in the Conservatory. 10,000 Italian honey bees are busy at work and fascinating to view. Find the queen bee by locating her prominent red marking. The beehive is maintained by local beekeeper, Phil Crandall and will be on display through the summer. Come take advantage of this amazing indoor display.

Since its establishment in 1885, gardens and floral displays at Vander Veer Botanical Park have been a tradition at this beautiful 33 acre park, inviting visitors to stroll from the Conservatory to the Stone Fountain. The park grounds are home to an extensive collection of gardens and trees, including many planted during the early 1890's; maps are available at the Park Store.

Vander Veer Conservatory and Gift Shop hours are Tuesday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Park is located at 215 W Central Park in Davenport. Admission to the Conservatory is only $1 for those 16 years and older. Children must be accompanied by an adult. For questions or further information, call 563-326-7818.

 
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